Phase 1 of the Enterprise Water Board replacement project is finally complete.
The announcement was made at the May 13 meeting of the Enterprise Water Works Board, held at the Farmers Market on Main Street instead of the traditional city hall location to enable the social distancing mandates created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expected to be completed by September 2019, Phase 1 was still incomplete when Phase 2 began in March of this year.
Now Phase 2 is behind schedule.
“There is an issue with his progress,” city consulting engineer Glenn Morgan told the water board noting that Phase 2 is about 20 percent behind schedule. “I have put him on notice via email. He responded with a letter telling us certain things that they are going to try to do to get back on schedule. He said he would add an additional crew in June.”
Morgan said he and Enterprise Water Works Board Field Superintendent Alan Mahan met with the contractor to discuss the issue. “He assured us that they are doing the things that they said they are going to do,” Morgan said. “They assured us that they are doing the things that they said they are going to do.”
Morgan said that the contractor being 20 percent behind schedule was due to “manpower scheduling issues” and was not COVID-19, weather or material-related issues. “It’s a manpower issue,” he said.
Mahan said that the contractor is working on Crescent Drive. At a previous water board meeting he said he and Morgan had prioritized the five streets in most critical condition to be worked on first. Top priority streets included Pine Leaf Drive, Natchez Drive, Crescent Drive and Mill Avenue. “Once those are completed there isn’t a particular order the contractor will follow,” Mahan explained at that time. “The grouping of streets on the list are in close proximity of each other so they'll finish each area before moving to another.”
In other business, Mahan reported that rehabilitation of Water Well No. 11 on Shell Field Road is complete. The well went back on line April 8 and is pumping 750 gallons a minute. The pumping rate had dropped down to 700 gallons a minute due to wear and tear caused by 10 years of pumping 3.6 billion gallons of water, Mahan explained.
In unrelated business, Mahan reported that the use of unrevenued water is decreasing and he credited the city department heads for that progress.
At a board meeting in November 2018, Mahan told the board that in Fiscal Year 2018 city facilities had used 270 million gallons of water at the cost of $538,000. At that same meeting he explained that since the city is not charged for water by the board, the water used is non-revenue gaining and referred to as water “lost.”
Mahan set a goal at the meeting to cut the “loss” by 34 percent in FY 2019 and another 26 percent in FY 2020 for a total reduction of 50 percent.
Mahan said that in April 2019, there was a 17.71 percent average water loss. In April 2020, there was a 10.44 percent water loss. The average daily up-to-date loss last year at this time was 12.26 percent, Mahan said. “This year it’s 6.99 percent.
“I do want to say publicly that I appreciate all the departments working with us on this,” Mahan said. “I appreciate it very much.”
Water Works Board Chairman John L. Mitchell asked Enterprise City Finance Director Lori Senn about the status of the water board audit. “I do want to point out that we still don’t have a draft of the audit from Brunson, Wilkerson and Bowden,” she told the board. “I have asked them about it. I have been in conversation with them about that at the end of April. They are still on track and and I don’t think there are any problems, I just think they have gotten backed up on other things. So we are still waiting for a draft of the audit.”
“Have they given you a time for the audit? I know it’s overdue at this point but….,” Mitchell asked.
“It is overdue but they started late because stuff was not ready but I am still hoping for May. “(The auditors) haven’t given me an updated timeline,” Senn added. “I know that they have been pushed back